By Meg Olson
Kiniski’s Reef Tavern is now welcoming all ages to their restaurant and patio.
As of March 17 the Reef’s state license was modified to change its designation from a lounge to a lounge and restaurant, which allows minors in the business until 10 p.m.
“I’m in the restaurant business now, and too many customers wanted to come in with their kids,” said owner Nick Kiniski. “The days of drinking and driving are over. People just want to come in and have a couple of beers and something to eat.” Less than a week after the change and Kiniski said he has already seen business pick up.
Manager Allison Szabo said the tavern had needed to add a full kitchen, open at least five hours a day, to be able to begin serving spirits five years ago. Since then the kitchen has taken on a star role for the business. “The menu has continued to expand and we’ve become more and more of a restaurant,” she said. “We have all sorts of great things,” she said, including house-made clam chowder, Philly cheesesteaks, fish and chips and mahi mahi tacos.
Recent changes to state regulations made it simpler to officially take on the restaurant designation, Szabo said, eliminating requirements for separate entrances and seating areas. The only place minors are not allowed is in front of the bar.
A kids menu is being developed for younger patrons, including grilled cheese, chicken strips, fish and chips and little pizzas. The kitchen is also gearing up to provide event catering. “We will be doing weddings and other special events,” Szabo said, including her own wedding to Ken Calder in August.
The Reef is on winter hours – Thursday through Sunday – until May when they will open seven days a week.